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Less talk, more action! Resident urges council to be ‘honest’ about campus plans

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A LOCAL resident has criticised Wiltshire Council for its “delaying tactics” and vague information about the start-date for construction of the Melksham Community Campus.

Responding to Wiltshire Council’s announcement last month that construction of the campus is “on schedule to start early next year”, local resident Pauline Baker has accused the council of “fobbing off” the community, explaining that the town has “no faith” in the campus project.

Pauline has demanded that Wiltshire Council gives the community clear information and “definite dates” for when construction will begin.

And the poor condition of the Melksham House site, which has been left “derelict” and “neglected”, has also been highlighted by Pauline as a concern. 

“Still we keep being fobbed off with promises, assurances, dates etc,” said Pauline, “and to be honest, Covid-19 has had very little to do with it, except to add another excuse to the list of delaying tactics.

“What we want is positive information, definite dates, progress reports and for Wiltshire Council to end the constant fobbing off! Instead, be truly honest with us!  

“Not comments like, ‘early next year’ and ‘soon’.  We’ve been hearing these things for years and years, and consider them to be nothing more than cattle fodder. We are not cattle!  We are intelligent tax-paying human beings, who deserve the right to be told the truth.

 “At the outset, we were given a ‘ring-fenced’ costing of £23million, and we all know that the funds have dwindled to such a small amount that most of us doubt there is enough left to build even a fraction of what was promised.

“Instead, it has been spent on other ‘worthy’ causes – the skate park, the football ground, the Market Place refurbishment, and of course, what seems like dozens of redrawing of planning applications, further consultations, all of which cost money but without any visible  progress!  Well, not to the good folk of Melksham anyway! So much for ‘ring-fencing’!  

“Meanwhile, the final layout for the campus shrinks month by month, and is currently a shadow of the original ideas, while Melksham House is derelict, the grounds are neglected and the whole area has a look of ‘well, nobody cares’!

“If there is not enough left in the kitty to pay for the campus, for goodness sake, let Wiltshire Council be honest and tell us the truth! 

“Then, scrub the campus plans, and spend what is left on restoring Melksham House and its grounds to what it was – a much loved hub of local activities for everybody, both young and old.  

“Wiltshire Council – please, please, prove me wrong, but for crying out loud, do it quickly!”

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